• Abel Gomez Tomiczek

10 Facts About Panama

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

Panama is one of the most popular countries in the region regarding residency, tourism destination and foreign investment. In addition to tourist attractions, there are also economic ones, since Panama has one of the strongest and fastest growing economies in Latin America.

There are hundreds of historical events that mark this country not only as a territory of striking geographical presence but also as a society that with less than 200 years of being a republic, has started in its constant development, highlighting its best attributes over time.

Here are the top 10 facts about Panama that make the small isthmus so special:

1. Panama is a safe haven.

Panama is considered a "safe haven" for investors and businesses in the Dollar region. The current COVID-19 crisis will reinforce this effect. Despite the immediate economic downturn, the outlook for recovery according to Moody's is positive (BAA1). Real estate investors are well advised to follow closely the developments in the coming months, as the new pricing environment coupled with the right strategy creating very interesting opportunities. Panama remains a quiet and remote country offering unique and secure spaces.

Panama was the first Latin American country to adopt the U.S. dollar for circulation, and apart from its own national currency, the Balboa.This allows you to trade much more safely than in other countries in Latin America where the value of their currency varies daily. In Panama the opposite is true, keeping the value of the US dollar stable and being affected only by its inflation, and yet this country has managed to remain among the countries with the lowest inflation rates in all of Latin America.

2. Easy to obtain permanent residence.

It is relatively easy to obtain permanent residency, since the Panamanian government offers more than fifty immigration categories, all of which can be adapted to the case of the foreigner. When countries began to close their borders to stop the Coronavirus, tourists were the first group to be a blocked. But in the case of Panama, resident foreigners were allowed to enter. The Visa of the "Friendly Nations" of Panama is a popular way to obtain a permanent residence permit with Panamanian identification (E-card). Additionally, Panama's "Jubilado" program offers special benefits and discounts for foreign retirees and pensioners, and the opportunity to obtain permanent residency with a Panamanian E-card.

3. Unique connectivity in the region.

The Tocumen International Airport as a hub allows easy access to and from Panama. The airport recently opened its expansion and modernization project. This air logistic center connects different international flights for personal, commercial or merchandise transportation.

4. Panama has a favorable climate.

Panama's climate is temperate, and throughout the territory you can get to know areas from colder to higher temperatures, and this also affects the fauna and flora. Panama contains 10,000 different species of plants, including 1,400 varieties of orchids, 678 types of ferns, more than 1,500 species of trees and more than 976 species of birds. Hundreds of scientific experts, photographers from famous magazines, biologists and amateurs travel every year to witness the spectacles that nature offers only in Panama.

More moderate micro-climates are found mainly in the volcanic areas with their fertile soils, such as the highlands of the Volcano Baru located in the province of Chiriqui. The third highest active volcano in Central America (height of 3,475 meters above sea level). According to scientific studies, its last eruption took place approximately 400 to 550 years ago.

5. Property protection.

In 1995, Law No.25 was created, which governs private interest foundations in Panama. Panama foundations (PIF) are corporate bodies created mainly to administrate and organize the family patrimony. They are not allowed to carry out commercial (profit) activities on a regular basis. The results or economic gains are used internally and for the realization of their objectives. They are constituted by a founder, who is responsible for transferring his or her assets to the administration of the Foundation Council, which consists of no less than three persons, that monitor compliance with the rules and purposes. The PIFs in Panama serve as a tool of estate planning in order to avoid probate, as a living will.

6. Panama borders two oceans.

In both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea you can find white sandy beaches, as well as mangrove-lined beaches with healthy living ecosystems for scientific exploration, fishing or tourism in general. There are beaches specifically for extreme sports and others that are more investigative or for leisure.

Every year the humpback whales arrive to the Pacific Ocean coasts from July to November. Many of these can also be seen from Coiba Island. Its Marine Park is considered one of the best diving destinations in the world, and you can find the largest coral reef in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

7. Panama has one of the world's best coffee, the one from Chiriqui.

Coffee is one of the most important products produced in Panama, and because of its quality, it has become one of the world's favorites. In 2019 one of the many types of coffee grown in the province of Chiriqui, reached an auction price of USD $ 1,029. Coffee is one of the products with more incidence in exportation, some of the main clients of Panama being the United States, Belgium, Germany, Japan and Italy.

Apart from being a country in a central region and with a high incidence of foreign maritime transport, as well as its history as a republic, it has been influenced by Europeans, native Indians, Africans, Afro-Antilleans, South Americans, Americans, and Asians. This fusion of nationalities has led to variations in Panamanian music, art and This means that you can also easily find other types of international coffees and foods in boutique or specialty shops.

8. Panama has an inter-oceanic canal.

In 2019, the third bridge over the Panama Canal, located in the province of Colon, was inaugurated. In the major media known as the Atlantic Bridge, it holds the world record as the longest concrete cable-stayed bridge in the world. According to the company in charge of building this bridge, it will allow the passage of large container ships.

Over the Panama Canal, which connects the two oceans and allows access to thousands of ships per month, you can also find the Bridge of the Americas (inaugurated in 1962) and the Centennial Bridge (inaugurated in 2005).

The construction of a fourth bridge over the Panama Canal is planned for 2018. Studies on this project are eventually published through the country's Ministry of Public Works, and it is estimated that it will be completed in full by 2023.

9. Science, Health and Environment.

In 2017, the Panamanian Ministry of Health announced that Panama is the second country in the Americas with the lowest consumption of tobacco. This was preceded by a concerned Panamanian government, implementing much stricter strategies for the welfare of the population's health by passing an anti-smoking law. Panama became the second country to pass the anti-smoking law, after Uruguay, and was applauded for the action. This law regulates the import, trade and manufacturing process of cigarettes within the country. Being a timely issue in the face of a pandemic that generates respiratory problems, Panama opted for preventive measures for health in general and the environment.

In March 2020, agents of the UN (United Nations) stated that Panama has responded quickly to the COVID19 epidemic, allocating economic resources. The Gorgas Memorial Institute managed to do the first sequencing of the SARSCoV2 virus (COVID-19 coronavirus) in a case imported into Panama to quickly diagnose cases that appear in the country. According to Panamanian epidemiologist Xavier Sáez Llorens, this makes Panama the first country in Central America and the fourth in the region after Brazil, Mexico and Chile to achieve this advance, which would allow the study of the evolution of the virus, its behavior and the effectiveness of possible vaccines and treatments.

10. Logistics and futuristic sector.

In 2017, an agreement was signed with the government of the People's Republic of China for the construction of an inter-oceanic train that will travel throughout the country of Panama and eventually, after due studies, will extend the route to Mexico.


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